Permission-based social data holds incredible value for today’s online businesses. But as businesses look to use social data to personalize their marketing efforts, it’s paramount to understand and respect users’ privacy rights and social network terms of service. Among several announcements we made today, we released results of a consumer survey we commissioned that addressed privacy and social data. The results were really interesting and highlighted that while consumers have very widely adopted social login, they remain confused and in some cases concerned about how businesses will use their social data when they login via social login. We surveyed more than 2,600 consumers 18+. Check out the results and details on the survey here:
As you may have also noticed, Gigya has been making some major strides to ensure that our clients use social data responsibly over the past few months. First, we launched SocialCompliance™ and SocialSync™ – two features that are now offered as part of Gigya’s Identity Storage product and that help make sure user data is held according to social network terms of service. We also brought on board, Jill Nissen, our new acting chief privacy officer. Jill has been instrumental in helping us understand and act on consumer privacy regulations and in helping us shape our privacy policies as well as how our clients use social data.
Today, Gigya is announcing what I think is one of our most important products to date: SocialPrivacy™ Certification. The new certification allows businesses to verify that they follow approved social network guidelines and industry best practices for managing consumer social data. Essentially, we’re offering certification – in the form of a consumer-facing seal — to businesses that do the right thing when it comes to social data.
We also made sure that the program had real backbone behind it. In fact, we consulted with a number of leading privacy organizations, and we collaborated with the Future of Privacy Forum to develop the standards for the program. We determined that in order to gain SocialPrivacy™ Certification, the business pass an audit to determine that they partake in fair social data marketing practices. In particular, they must follow four principles in order to gain SocialPrivacy™ Certification: 1) they will not sell user social data, 2) they will not post to social feeds without explicit permissions, 3) they will not engage in social data-based email marketing campaigns without user permissions, and 4) they will not send private messages to friends without permission. Once those businesses are certified, they can display the Gigya SocialPrivacy™ Certification Seal in the login flow on their websites to transparently inform users how their social data will be used. Remarkably, we’ve found that in testing, use of the SocialPrivacy™ Certification Seal has shown an increase in social login conversion rates of 15%.
Keep an eye out for the seal on our clients’ websites in the coming months – in particular the websites of some of our launch partners including: Martha Stewart Omnimedia, Finish Line (run.com), LUSH Cosmetics, and The Globe and Mail.
I’m personally very excited about how we are addressing consumer privacy and I think SocialPrivacy™ Certification will become a real standard for businesses that use social login. Creating transparency with consumers just makes sense – it’s the right thing to do and it helps you build a trusting relationship your users.
Happy Holidays to you all – as always, feel free to get in touch with any questions.
– Patrick Salyer, CEO
(P.S. – check out our new logo on our homepage!)